Day #1: Your Favorite Play - King Lear
Day #2: Your favorite character - Edmund
Day #3: Your Favorite Hero
This question kept rattling around in my head all day. As others have pointed out "Hero" is a sticky term. Do we go with it simply being "leading man"? Do we take it to mean someone who acts heroically in the course of their play?
I am going to take "leading man" for my criteria.
I think it was the second year Mom and I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival what we got to see As You Like It. I had gotten to a point that I liked seeing all of the plays. I read them for fun and also picked up critical texts like The Masks of King Lear (I have no idea where it ended up, but I had a little notebook where I jotted down ideas for staging Lear as I read). I was deeply in love with all things Shakespeare, but As You Like It was the first comedy that really stands out in my memories of 'those early years.'
I'll probably talk about this play a lot in the next 28 days, but I will start now with Orlando as my favorite hero. I love the fact that Shakespeare made him exuberant in love, occasionally doltish and a horrible poet. Orlando makes sweeping protestations of his adoration of a girl he has seen only once (as a girl) and he writes some of the worst poetry in the cannon to her memory. My high school English teacher, the same one who paced up and down during our AP test, had us read As You Like It and I had to explain to him that Orlando was not using slant rhyme. It's a hell of a lot funnier if you actually rhyme "hind" and "Rosalind". Or so The Oregon Shakespeare Orlando played it.
The wrestling scene is another stand out for me. Orlando battles Charles the Wrestler early in the play and wins. I've seen As You Like It many times and I've seen it played where they two just beat the crap out of each other. I've seen it played with Orlando coming through at the last moment against all odds. My favorite will always be that first production where they did the entire thing WWF-style and Orlando used the line "No, I am not yet well-breathed" to huff and puff until Charles fell over.
As You Like It seems to be a bit of a cursed play here, though. Every time someone has done it the reviews were...unkind at best. I joke that I have to keep waiting until the town gets the taste of the last production out of their mouths before I can consider doing it but someone else always gets there first. Ah well, a girl can dream.( Collapse )